If you’re ready to head out into the great wide open of northern Nevada, there are far too many options to enjoy in just one day. Here are some suggestions that will help you get outside to enjoy the great weather, scenery and fresh air.
has several urban parks and wildlife areas that are easily accessible to visitors. The Oxbow Nature Study Area runs parallel to the Truckee River just a few miles upstream of downtown Reno. It’s the first park of its kind in Nevada and is quickly being duplicated in other areas of the state. The lush banks, thick cottonwoods and willows and quiet paths create an Eden just a short hike from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Two miles of trails snake through the area, and interpretive signs explain the flora and fauna to be found along the river. Parts of the park are wheelchair accessible and wooden benches along the way make it a perfect destination for a leisurely stroll. nevadaaudubon.org/birdingguide/birdingareas/oxbow,
- Washoe Valley spans the short drive on Highway 395 from Reno to Carson City and includes wildlife areas, two shallow lakes, extensive marshes and a state park. The highway is heavily traveled, so use caution and be sure to pull off at East Lake Boulevard to access the park headquarters, camp sites and boat launch. Birds abound in the area, and visitors are likely to see pelicans, herons, white-faced ibis, magpies and killdeer, as well as raptors such as the golden eagle and red-tailed hawk. parks.nv.gov/parks/washoe-lake-state-park/, 775-687-4319
- The Carson Lake Wetlands and nearby Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge are key respites to migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway. Shorebirds are common in the wetlands, approximately 70 miles east of Reno, and waterfowl arrive by the hundreds of thousands in the late fall. fws.gov/stillwater/
Pyramid Lake - Northeast of Reno is Pyramid Lake, a 115,000-acre saltwater lake that contains the Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is one of the largest nesting colonies of the American white pelican in the United States. The island and surrounding waters are closed to the public, but binoculars are sufficient to see the graceful avian inhabitants of the land.
Bird Tour Company: Birding Under Nevada Skies provides tours to the best birding areas throughout Nevada and custom tours catered to specific interests including 2- to 4-hour tours to multi-day tours. Guides are members and directors of the Lahontan Audubon Ornithologists, University of Nevada Reno, Hawk Watch International and other birding and scientific organizations. They also provide the opportunity for in-the-field photography, geology/rock hounding, wildflower identification, trout fishing, stargazing, camping and other outdoor actives. Contact Jim Woods at 775-720-7009
Lake Tahoe Catamaran Cruise
– Enjoy Tahoe’s tranquility at its best while sailing on the 55’ catamaran, the Sierra Cloud. The two-hour sailing cruise will take you along the untouched northern shores of Lake Tahoe and provide a panoramic view of the entire lake. Whether you prefer to lie on the nets and watch the water beneath you or sit on our cushioned seats on the deck, our expert staff will provide you with a truly unforgettable experience. laketahoe.hyatt.com
, 775-832-1234 ext. 51
Lake Tahoe Cruises
offers cruises around the lake on the Tahoe Queen and M.S. Dixie II
. Awestruck upon seeing South Lake Tahoe for the first time in 1862, Mark Twain uttered, “It must surely be the fairest picture the whole world affords.” From the decks of the spacious paddle wheelers, the M.S. Dixie II
and the Tahoe Queen
, you’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of Tahoe’s crystal blue waters and towering peaks – whether you choose a daytime scenic cruise or sunset dinner cruise that includes live entertainment and delicious entrées. These boat tours are a must see on your trip to Lake Tahoe. zephyrcove.com/cruises
North Tahoe Cruises
- The Tahoe Gal
is the only paddle wheeler on Lake Tahoe featuring eco-friendly engines! She is equipped with a full galley and bar and offers exclusive charters for corporate meetings, dinners, weddings and cocktail cruises. The private Commodore Salon is perfect for small private parties and business meetings up to 30 people and can be rented on a regular cruise without the expense of chartering the entire vessel. tahoegal.com
Tahoe Boat Cruises -
Experience scenic Lake Tahoe boat cruises on aboard one of Tahoe Boat Cruises' unique vessels: the 80’ luxury yacht Safari Rose; the 40’, “aged to perfection,” Tahoe; or the world’s highest sailing catamaran, the Woodwind II. The fleet is perfect for private charters like corporate retreats, getaways with friends and any other events. Tahoe Boat Cruises can take you to all points on Lake Tahoe with their Coast Guard-trained and certified crew. tahoecruises.com
You'll never play a better game of golf than when you're in Reno Tahoe USA. It's science. At our altitude, balls fly 10% farther. Your ball will slice through our thin air like a hot knife through butter. And with more than 50 courses within 90 minutes of Reno, there's a course for every level of play. Edgewood is rated one of Golf Digest's top 25 public U.S. golf courses.visitrenotahoe.com/reno-tahoe/what-to-do/golfor golfthehighsierra.com
Reno/Sparks - Courses include the state's oldest links — the Washoe County Golf Course, which was established in 1934 - and the newest courses, including ArrowCreek and Red Hawk. We're even home to Montreux Golf Club, home of the PGA TOUR stop, Reno-Tahoe Open. Other great Reno courses include Wildcreek, LakeRidge and Wolf Run.
Carson City - The state capital, just a 30-minute drive south, offers the Divine Nine courses, totaling about 70,000 yards of greens and roughs, including Dayton Valley Country Club, Empire Ranch and the Golf Club at Genoa Lakes.
Lake Tahoe - Only a 60-minute drive up winding mountains, the Lake Tahoe area offers a dozen championship courses, including Edgewood Tahoe, where the star-studded American Century Championship is held.
Gondola Rides (Winter & Summer)
Heavenly Mountain Gondola
- A ride up 2.4 miles in the Heavenly Ski Resort Gondola will leave you breathless as you take in the panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. On your way up, stop at the Observation Deck for a latté at Café Blue or to pick up unique Heavenly souvenirs at Gondola Sports. Want to go as high as you can? Purchase a Summit Ticket at Adventure Peak to ride up Tamarack Express chair lift for the best view of Lake Tahoe in the summer. skiheavenly.com,
Squaw Valley Tram
- A ride in the scenic Aerial Tram is a spectacular and leisurely ride 2,000 vertical feet to the High Camp. The Aerial Tram is one of Squaw Valley's most popular year-round attractions and is open to all guests, skiers, snowboarders and walkers. Once you reach the top, enjoy panoramic views as well as access to numerous activities, including roller skating and poolside dining. squaw.com
The beauty of northern Nevada was meant to be seen and explored. Whether at the Sparks Marina, along the Truckee River in downtown Reno or among the pines on the eastern slopes of the Sierra, this is a region where the air is healthy and the scenery is spectacular. Guided tours are available.
Tahoe Adventure Company
- Many hiking options exist in the Lake Tahoe basin. Whether you are looking for a leisurely naturalist-led hike among wildflower-filled meadows or a more strenuous ascent of one of our nearby peaks, the Tahoe Adventure Company can arrange it. All hikes offer amazing vistas of Lake Tahoe and views into surrounding wilderness. Experience the beauty of Tahoe's high country that can only be accessed on foot. Hike past waterfalls and streams to one of our many granite surrounded alpine lakes. If you are looking for more of a challenge, you can continue to the top of one of our nearby peaks for panoramic views that can't be beat. Many options exist for every ability level. tahoeadventurecompany.com, 866-830-6125
Horseback Riding & Outfitters
With a shout and a thirst for adventure, the first pioneers led their wagons and horses through Nevada's frontier. The best way to enjoy this spectacular scenery is on horseback. Enjoy options ranging from the high desert mountains of Virginia City to the sands of Lake Tahoe. Good for all ages and abilities. visitrenotahoe.com/reno-tahoe/what-to-do/land-adventures/horseback
Adventures in Reno
- Ride Reno's own Peavine Mountain, a challenging mountain biking area steps from downtown. Sierra Adventures also offers trips to other challenging mountain biking trails in the Reno/Tahoe area. The Biking Reno Discovery Tours showcase the beautiful places and views that only the locals know about. Sierra Adventures offers: mountain bike tours, bike rentals, adventure shuttle service and adventure packages. adventuresofreno.com, 775-789-2412
Tahoe Adventure Company
- A variety of single track trails and dirt roads start high above the basin and provide an opportunity for a perfect all downhill ride. You can also choose a full day loop that includes up and downhill or a leisurely tour along the Truckee River bike path. Whatever you choose, the forested trails and views of the lake will provide the perfect backdrop for your ride. In addition, we will cover the natural and human history relevant to the ride. tahoeadventurecompany.com, 866-830-6125
Tahoe Mountain Guides
- Tahoe Mountain Guides offers customized mountain bike tours throughout Lake Tahoe. They can ensure you have a breathtaking ride - from a mellow afternoon outing to trails that will test your skill. With years of biking experience and in-depth knowledge of the area, they can create the ideal ride for you, no matter what your skill level. Join them for majestic vistas along introductory rides or intense single track trails in the Sierra. Maximum 12 riders per group but will book multiple groups. tahoemountainguides.com, 530-686-5895
Off Road Excursions
Adventures of Reno -
Reno Tahoe’s premier outdoor adventure consultant specializing in a wide array of outdoor activities. Most popular summer activities are ATV rentals and tours, motorcycle rentals and tours, and sightseeing tours around Lake Tahoe and Virginia City. adventuresofreno.com
High Sierra ATV Tours -
High Sierra ATV Tours offers tours of the Frenchman Lake Recreational Area, in Plumas National Forest; including, Snow Lake, Crystal Peak and the Dixie Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Tours last from 2 to 6 hours. Ride a one or two-seat 500cc Arctic Cat ATV. Tours start just 30 minutes north of Reno, in Chilcoot, Calif., on Highway 70 and Frenchman's Lake Road. highsierraatvtours.com
Wide Open Excursions
- Push the envelope of an adventure based vacation. Much more than a simple racing school or guided low-speed tour, exclusive open-wheel tour cars provide you with the performance and safety of a modern desert racer but are comfortable enough for anyone to drive. Seasoned guides lead you through the entire journey. wideopenbaja.com/Reno/reno-nevada-usa/sierra-nevada
If you’re an astronomy lover, Reno Tahoe USA offers a great jumping off point for some fantastic views of natural night lights. The stars are incredibly bright in the dry Nevada air and if you drive just a short distance, amazing vistas of black with white diamonds abound.
Tahoe Adventure Company
- Star gazers unite! Tahoe Adventure Company and Tony Berendsen present: Telescopic tours of the midnight sky! This fusion brings you the most exciting tour of the season. It all starts with guided sunset kayaking, hiking or snowshoeing followed by a brilliant tour of the midnight sky. Professional, knowledgeable guides will teach you about the natural and human history of the area, while you watch the sun cast a purple alpenglow onto the Sierra. You can paddle through the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe, hike or snowshoe through Tahoe's vibrant, peaceful forest. You will be guided to a viewing point, where Tony will open your mind to the unknown world above you. Hot drinks and snacks will be served as the Star Tour begins. tahoeadventurecompany.com, 866-830-6125
Kayaking, Canoeing, white water rafting or river floating are all available in the Reno Tahoe area. The Truckee River winds its way through downtown Reno and Sparks, and a variety of lakes are located in the area, including beautiful Lake Tahoe. The Truckee and Carson Rivers provide outstanding adventure opportunities. Together they offer fabulous kayaking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, all the popular forms of open-water paddling and water-sports like skiing and sailing or an outing on a personal watercraft. visitrenotahoe.com/reno-tahoe/what-to-do/water-adventures
Action Watersports of Incline Village
offers a variety of on-the-water activities. Rent personal water craft, ski boats, sail boats and party boats; parasail or take a ride on the Sierra Cloud Catamaran! Action Watersports is based right on the water, alongside the beautiful Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. awsincline.com
Kayak Tahoe is a full-service kayak shop located on the water in South Lake Tahoe. Offering rentals, lessons, tours and sales of kayaks and accessories, Kayak Tahoe specializes in individual and group outings in Emerald Bay. Large group guided or unguided tours, as well as custom tours, are also available. Guided Emerald Bay tours, moonlight tours, free demo days, around- the-lake paddles. kayaktahoe.com,
Sierra Adventures offers a
n exciting kayaking experience; get up close and personal with the Truckee River and deep blue Lake Tahoe. wildsierra.com/water.htm
Tahoe Adventure Company -
The Lake Tahoe area offers incredible kayaking opportunities. All one-day trips cover comprehensive paddling instruction and include lunch on the beach. Guides point out ecology, geology and natural and human history along the way. These excellent paddles always travel with the prevailing winds and currents, which allows you to explore and have fun. The scenery is remarkable. Trips include: introductory Kayaking, Kayak Touring and Evening Astronomy Paddle. tahoeadventurecompany.com
Tahoe Paddle & Oar located at Kings Beach offers canoe and kayak rentals, sales and guided kayak tours on Lake Tahoe. Group discounts and team-building activities are available. tahoepaddle.com, 530-581-3029
White Water Rafting
– Based in Reno, Sierra Adventures will take you through some of the most scenic
stretches of the Truckee. Bring the whole family or your favorite group of thrill seeking friends for some major rafting fun. wildsierra.com/water.htm
Tahoe Whitewater Tours - Offers tours on the Truckee River (Class II to Class III), and on the East Fork Carson River (Class II to Class III). Company located in Tahoe City. gowhitewater.com, 800-442-7238
Truckee River Rafting - Rafting for groups of all sizes. On the Truckee River. Great two to three hours, self-guided trip. Company located in Tahoe City. truckeeriverrafting.com, 530-583-1111
IRIE Rafting Company - Full and half day excursions, Class II to Class III on the Truckee River. They will take groups of all sizes. raftirie.com, 530-582-4900
Wild Horse Viewing
Sonny Boys Tours
is dedicated to providing quality eco-tours, scenic tours and information on the subject of wild horses and to educate the public on the need for protection and preservation of the American Mustang. There are few remaining wild horses out on open ranges. Each year in the West, thousands of horses are gathered or rounded-up in the attempt to thin the size of herds for a variety of reasons. Sonny Boys Tours’ goal is to give guided eco-tours of wild horses for small groups, to view and encounter Mustangs, and gain an understanding about the wild horses and burros. In the course of tours, visitors will marvel at the rugged beauty of the region. As a result, Sonny Boys Tours has expanded its service to offer unique scenic tours that capture the spirit of the West! Group size is typically 11, but arrangements for larger groups may be made upon request. renowildhorsetours.com
Ski and Snowboard
Lake Tahoe has 18 world-class ski areas, from downhill mountains with beginner, intermediate and high-difficulty runs to cross-country skiing. Get information and find out which ski areas are best for you by going to: visitrenotahoe.com/reno-tahoe/what-to-do/ski/search
Snowmobiling is an amazing option for seeing some of the untouched areas of the high Sierra. An exhilarating ride up over 10,000-feet above sea level will bring you into the clouds, looking down on the winter beauty of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding valleys.
Ice Skating is a fun and quick activity for families. No motors and very little risk. There are plenty of ice skating options around Lake Tahoe.